Ron Paul

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The Political Junkie, The Political Maverick. Andy Carvin/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Andy Carvin/NPR

I'll confess I was a bit worried about Ron Paul as a guest. The Congressman and Republican Presidential candidate's campaign may be the most interesting of this year's also-rans. Once the presidential nominee of the Libertarian Party, Rep. Paul's long-shot candidacy never found much traction with voters, but caught fire on the Internet, where he generated astonishing financial support from many thousands of donors. We had him on the show a couple of times by phone from the campaign trail in relatively short interviews, but I was concerned that lengthy explanations of monetary policy might sound just a little bit, well, wonky.

If you heard his appearance yesterday with NPR's political editor Ken Rudin, on our Political Junkie Segment, Rep. Paul was charming, self-deprecating, and, at times, quite funny. It's easier for a politician with little at stake to be forthright, but it's refreshing, nevertheless. And extending the time gave listeners a chance to hear more depth - and, when he spoke about bringing troops back home, deconstructing the "American Empire, " and the difficulties of third party candidates, the depth of passion. I regret that we still don't know what Ron Paul plans to do with all that money he raised - his may be the best financed uncontested congressional campaign in history.

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Mr. Conan, you & Mr. Rudin were much too kind to Ron Paul. Couldn't you have challenged him more on the disgraceful racist & anti-Semitic comments he has endorsed (published under his name)? Why didn't you ask him more about libertarian principles? Should we respect private property to the point that we rid ourselves of wildlife refuges & even public parks?

Also, Paul is not deconstructing the American Empire. He simply wants to pull out all troops from foreign lands. The question is whether he is willing to spend government money to help the rest of the world rise to our standard of living. Is he willing to spend government money for diplomatic purposes?

Sent by Matthew Bond | 12:50 PM | 5-15-2008

Ron Paul's candidacy has ignited a pursuit of liberty by every American regardless of race and creed. He is strongly against dividing Americans up into political blocks because nothing ever gets done because you are divided into competing interests.
Those that use such arguments are themselves racist and foolish. Every American is entitled to Liberty and Freedom. Our government is directly a result of personal action or inaction. Clearly, the mainstream has done a very poor job developing a successful modern government.
Look at the Facts, 53 trillion unfunded liabilities associated with Social Security Trust fund, a 2.0 Trillion dollar war with a group of people that have nothing to do with America or the Americans. If you are an American you and your parents got us to this point in time.
Many claim that Ron Paul's focus on not intervening in other governments or foreign lands is in fact isolationist. They people that make these claims are in fact proponents of preemptive war and appear to be bound by a philosophy based on the premise of "Fear of attach allows us to disengage our moral responsibility to not Kill". It's ok to kill the country that sends it armies, navy or air force to injure or kill us, but morally is it ok to kill people that have the misfortune of living in a country that has militants that individually attack us. In Iraq this argument does not apply because only Saudis attacked us.

Now we have a true agent of Change in our country that has the very founders words to back him. But still there are those that castigate Ron Paul by claiming Paul's ideas are out dated are actually dis-associating the very foundation of our nation as if it were crazy talk. This is truely crazy and in this humble persons opinion GOPers old guard are starting to look like more crazy than Ron Paul.

Sent by Paul and one more thing | 6:49 PM | 5-15-2008

I believe that if one really understands what Ron Paul stands for -he or she would understand how dismantling the American Empire would have a positive impact on the rest of the world. (One small example)-In some cases people are paying 50% of there income toward taxes-If that tax payer had the opportunity to save that money for his or her own uses-Who is to say that person wouldn't choose to use some of that money for the good of mankind instead of financing a unjust war.

Sent by Aaron Nichols | 12:06 AM | 5-16-2008

Thank you for having Ron Paul on. In response to the the previous comment, it is not he job of our federal government to spend taxpayer money to help citizen of other countries. This should and would be done through private relief organizations. Also he is not and never has been a racist. He had a news letter many years ago that had many contributors and for awhile when he wasn't in congress he did not do a good job of editing that news letter. All of those statements were written by other people when he was back in Texas involved in his medical practice and not involved with editing. I have listened to almost every interview on TV,radio, and the internet I could find, and I have never heard a racist comment by Ron Paul.

Sent by Clay Hegney | 6:29 AM | 5-16-2008

Many of the questions asked of Dr. Paul were setups. For example, Were the Korean people not worth saving? If they were worth saving, why did the UN split their nation in 1/2 and save on 1/2 of them?
Remember when we had citizens who felt strongly enough about military actions against Franco, that they went and fought? "A Call to Arms" plot clearly shows Americans can and should join military units for a cause they believe in. But sending our military into a nation without a declaration of war, often ends badly or with 'occupation'. We just can't afford it anymore.
Paul was the first to submit a bill after 9/11 restoring the laws used on Pirates. This allowed us to strike the vermon wherever they hid and rout them out. His bill would have allowed us to follow Bin Laden through multiple countries until we killed him. The invasion of Afghanistan was already planned before 9/11 according to Arundhati Roy.
Ending the department of Education is also a trick question. Since Carter created it, have the K-12 outcomes of kids gone up or down? Better outcomes are always promised if we spend more on education, would that it were true. Drop out rates and truancy as well as functionally illiterate numbers are skyrocking. College bound kids need remedial math in double digits percentages.
Friedman said, the State has ever right to mandate education for their children, and every right to tax the citizens to pay for it. But they should then not also administer it. Compared to Food Stamps, imagine if 'free' food were only available at government stores.

Sent by N. Karlen | 11:11 AM | 5-16-2008

We spent alot of money in Iraq. We destroyed one of the best infrastructures in the area and left them without running water, without electricity, and unable to defend themselves against Iran. We put Sadam in place in the first place. How are the 130+ countries that we are stationed in improving? Should the federal government continue to borrow money and print more worthless money to spend trillions on diplomatic purposes and to improve the rest of the world while the working middle class in this country has to work 80 hours a week to survive and has to pay 45% or more in taxes?

Sent by David Kesselring | 3:51 PM | 5-16-2008

Ron Paul was the only candidate in this year's election who truly advocated "change".
It's a shame he was swept under the rug by the media.

Sent by Remy Stendardo | 7:39 PM | 6-2-2008